New Zealand's newest Prime Minister is well versed in leading large institutions and teams. But will it be enough to lead a coalition?
After a tight and tense race, Christopher Luxon has become New Zealand’s 42nd Prime Minister. It's expected that his National Party will govern with ACT New Zealand with a combined 61 / 121 seats, which is just enough to govern. However, there are still several balls in the air with special votes, an official recount, and a by-election on 25 November still to come.
What is certain is that Christopher Luxon will be New Zealand's 42nd Prime Minister. His ascension follows a tight race and a general sense of distrust towards the former Labour government that was reflected in the weekend's result. The task now falls to Luxon to regain the public's trust and focus on key issues like the cost of living crisis. So who is Christopher Luxon and is he up to the challenge?
Early Life and Career
Christopher was born in 1970 in Christchurch. At age 7, his family moved to Howick in Auckland, where his father worked for Johnson & Johnson as a sales executive and his mother worked as a psychotherapist and counsellor. Christopher attended Christchurch Boys' High School.
Christopher completed a Bachelor of Commerce and a Master’s of Commerce at the University of Canterbury in the early nineties. While studying, Christopher worked at McDonalds and as a concierge at Christchurch Park Royal Hotel and upon completing his Master’s, Christopher began work at Unilever as a management trainee in 1993. He worked at Unilever until 2011, based in multiple locations including Wellington, Sydney, London, Chicago, and Toronto. In Chicago, he was the regional category vice president for North America, and in Toronto, he was the CEO and President of Canada Unilever.
In 2011, Christopher moved to Air New Zealand as the group general manager, where he later became the CEO in 2013 – a position he held until 2019. Christopher has won numerous business awards, including the Peter Blake Leader Award and the Deloitte CEO of the Year. He has also served as Chair of the Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Council and is a Vice Chair and Trustee of the international aid organisation Tearfund New Zealand.
Working in Government
Christopher was elected to Parliament as a National Party Member for the seat of Botany in the 2020 general election. He has since served as Associate Spokesperson for Transport, the Spokesperson for Māori Development, and the Spokesperson for Local Government from 2020 to 2021, and as the Spokesperson for Research, Science and Manufacturing and the Spokesperson for Land Information in 2021.
Christopher is currently the Spokesperson for National Security and Intelligence and the Party Leader of the National Party. He was elected by his Party as Leader of the Opposition in 2021. Christopher’s policy areas of interest include infrastructure, inequality, the tax system, and small business. He has also taken a hard stance on gang activity, youth crime, and immigration.
Christopher lives in Auckland with his wife Amanda and their two children. In his spare time, Christopher enjoys DIY projects, country music, and waterskiing. He is also a practising Christian.
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